Restaurant X is run by an Irish lass by the name of Christina Phillips and her Londoner husband, Chris Phillips.
And, yes, as a customer might expect, it has amazing fish and chips. But due to their extensive travels and Chris Phillips’s experience working at restaurants such as London’s Langans Brasserie, the menu is nuanced with flavors from around the world. And this includes some Southern styles, as well.
Christina Phillips left Ireland at 21 to pursue a dream of traveling around the world. Her first stop was New York City, where she worked in restaurants. There, she met Chris Phillips, and the two quickly realized they had the same dream. So they saved their money and went on a year-and-a-half trip that led them through Indonesia, Thailand, India and other countries.
In Indonesia, they met two girls who had opened a café and needed their spices translated into English. As Christina began to translate, she noticed a succulent odor coming from the kitchen. She followed the scent and found her husband cooking with the owners. From that point on, Chris Phillips cooked his way around the world, picking up tips, tricks and recipes along the way.
The Phillipses eventually came back to New York City. They had two children and their dream had morphed into wanting a restaurant, with Christina Phillips running the front of the house and Chris Phillips taking care of the kitchen.
“We almost took the plunge three times in New York,” Chris Phillips said. “But it was just never quite right.”
People told them over and over about North Carolina, specifically Charlotte. The family visited the area over a spring break.
“We found ourselves on this small beach by the lake in 72-degree weather, and it was so lovely,” Chris Phillips said. “Then we happened upon Davidson, and we knew we were home.”
The restaurant looks like a run-of-the-mill pub, but do not be deceived by appearances. The food manages to be cosmopolitan and comfortable at the same time.
Take the beef brisket sandwich. The brisket is slow braised to enhance the flavor and served on ciabatta with homemade blue cheese dressing and onion rings for crunch. The end product is half uptown, half down-home and all delicious.
In October, the restaurant will be able to serve liquor and will begin Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Restaurant X prides itself on fresh ingredients such as fish delivered daily and organic eggs. The majority of the menu items are made in house, such as the amazing hand-cut French fries.
Diners Jay Martin and Doug Wilson say the food is amazing. The two men were visiting from Virginia and received a recommendation from a Davidson local.
“I’ve got to say that if we come back to town, we’ll try it again,” Wilson said.
As for the name?
“We just could not agree on a name,” muses Christina Phillips.
Chris Phillips suggested they start with a logo, and they used Restaurant X in the mockup. After looking at the logo, it dawned on them that this was the name they had been looking for the whole time.
“Plus Davidson really did mark the spot for us,” Christina Phillips said.
At a glance
408 S. Main St., Davidson